Book review: SAP Analytics Cloud – Financial Planning and Analysis (SAP Press)

Posted by on Aug 16, 2022

Another review on yet another SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) book? Oh yes! This time I read SAP Analytics Cloud – Financial Planning and Analysis, again by SAP Press, and I was very glad to see this 450+ pages strong book on SAC Planning being announced some time ago. 

Few may know that planning is actually the original pillar that SAC was built on. Back in 2015, the very first version of SAC was called SAP Cloud for Planning and it was aimed at being a pure SaaS planning solution! Nowadays the focus of most users may be on reporting and analytics in SAC stories and applications, using the live data connections instead of acquired data models, but still plannings is an important part of SAC. So I think it’s good to have a dedicated book for this, especially as certain SAC planning concepts are completely different from the reporting and analytics side of SAC. Think of designing and managing acquired planning models vs. using live models, working with different data versions, planning-specific features as data actions, allocations, using the built-in calendar, etc.

What I like is that not just the technical options are listed in this book, but also the overall processes in financial planning are introduced and explained. What are we actually trying to achieve here, who is involved and what are the steps? This makes it so much easier to grasp the concepts and (technical) solutions that are offered in SAC. By the way, the sales planning sample scenario that is used throughout the book is based one of the business content packages for SAC: Sales Planning for SAP S/4HANA Cloud (SAP Best Practices). Unfortunately I only figured this out after going through almost the full book, as only at the very end there is a chapter on several business content samples. But it could be helpful if you’d want to try a couple of things yourself, without having to build up a complete model first, load the data etc.

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Posted in: Books, Review, SAP Analytics Cloud

Book review: Designing Dashboards with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAP Press)

Posted by on Jul 29, 2022

Developing dashboards and reports with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) does not only require skills on using the tool itself, but also some fundamental knowledge on how to design a dashboard and how to communicate data in a proper way. Of course, there are already some good books and resources on how to work with SAC and we have numerous books on dashboard design and concepts as IBCS. This book by SAP Press – Designing Dashboards with SAP Analytics Cloud – aims to bridge these two topics and bring these theoretical design concepts into practice in SAC.

The book starts with some pretty extensive chapters on dashboard design principles (they define their “10 golden rules”) and process-related success factors, from understanding the user requirements till measuring the success of dashboard after deployment. It’s a bit dry to read (lots of text) but it definitely contains some interesting stuff, especially if you’re pretty new to this. 

The majority of the book leads you through the practical side of these fundamentals with a series of sample scenarios. We get lots of screenshots and lots of different visualization types (charts). It not only shows you what is possible, but also how to achieve this in SAC in a step-by-step manner. However, I don’t really understand why the authors chose to split the scenarios (and chapters) by for example connectivity type (acquired vs live). It shouldn’t really matter where the data comes from to design a good dashboard, right? Anyway, it at least gives us some more examples to learn from. 

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Posted in: Books, Review, SAP Analytics Cloud

Book review: Security for SAP Analytics Cloud – Authorizations and Provisioning

Posted by on Jul 13, 2022

It’s been a while since I reviewed some SAP related books here at HackingSAP.com and what better way to pick this up again than with a book on SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) that was even written by my very own Interdobs colleague Martijn van Foeken! 

Security for SAP Analytics Cloud – Authorizations and Provisioning is a so called SAP Press E-Bites. These are digital-only (PDF, ePub, online) books on specific topics and tasks, with a length of around 100 pages.

The configuration of your SAC platform is (hopefully) something you do only at the start of a new SAC implementation and – if properly done – take advantage of for years after. For authorizations this means that you design and apply a solid authorization setup and only need to extend this with additional folders and/or teams whenever this is necessary. That’s what this book will help you with. 

Martijn walks you through the steps of managing users, teams, roles, folders and other SAC objects that users can create. He shows you how to do all this manually within the SAC platform itself, but also how to move the whole user management completely out of SAC by connecting the SAC tenant to a custom Identity Provider (IDP). Microsoft Azure is often used for this and is therefor also used as an example in the book. With such a setup we can for example let users login with their Microsoft credentials and let the system automatically generate a SAC account when a new user logs in for the first time. Martijn also describes how to assign users to teams and roles by using SAML attribute mapping. With this you can use security groups in your custom IDP to manage team and role memberships in SAC. The book ends with a chapter on automated (mass) user and team provisioning via a REST API. 

So in conclusion, this E-Bite is a quick read on SAC authorizations and it will give you a good understanding of what is possible and how to apply the various options in a step-by-step manner. As this is a very fundamental topic for a successful implementation of SAC, but probably not something you work at on a daily base, this E-Bite is definitely something to check out if you want to get up to speed fast!

Security for SAP Analytics Cloud: Authorizations and Provisioning
Martijn van Foeken
98 pages, E-book formats: EPUB, MOBI, PDF, online
ISBN 978-1-4932-2254-4

Posted in: Review, SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Lumira, Designer edition – The Comprehensive Guide (SAP Press) now available!

Posted by on Apr 28, 2018

SAP Lumira, Designer edition – The Comprehensive Guide is now available for purchase via SAP-Press.com and Amazon and can be ordered as hardcopy, DRM-free ebook or bundled editions. This is the ‘Designer’ counterpart to SAP Lumira, Discovery edition – The Comprehensive Guide that we released just a couple of weeks ago. Just as the Discovery book, it covers all the new features from the recent 2.1 release of SAP Lumira.

This massive book with over 750 pages is the ultimate resource for every Lumira Designer user, whether you are completely new to the tool, or already have experience with the earlier – SAP Design Studio – releases. With our step-by-step instructions, and hundreds of detailed screenshots, we explain the possibilities that SAP Lumira, Designer edition has to offer in an easy to understand way. Next to all of the components, scripting and configuration options, we show several usage scenarios for Lumira Designer. Also, topics like planning, CSS and the SDK are covered. We added several sections on designing principles for building applications and performance tuning.

A reading sample, the full table of contents and the index is available here.

SAP Lumira, Designer edition – The Comprehensive Guide [SAP Press]
Xavier Hacking, Jeroen van der A, Dwain Chang
755 pages, 3rd, updated and revised edition 2018
E-book formats: EPUB, MOBI, PDF, online
ISBN 978-1-4932-1616-1

SAP-Press.com
Amazon

Posted in: Books, SAP Lumira

SAP Lumira, Discovery edition – The Comprehensive Guide (SAP Press) now available!

Posted by on Apr 1, 2018

This week we officially presented the first copy of SAP Lumira, Discovery edition – The Comprehensive Guide by SAP Press to Merlin Knott (SAP VP of Sales for Analytics North Europe) at the SAP Hybrid Analytics knowledge event organized by SAP Netherlands and Interdobs.

SAP Lumira, Discovery edition – The Comprehensive Guide is now available for purchase via SAP-Press.com and Amazon and can be ordered as hardcopy, DRM-free ebook or bundled editions. Personally I see the bundled edition at SAP Press as the best deal, as it gives you the hardcopy to read, and the PDF ebook as a reference for when you are on the road or when you want to check out the full color screenshots.

The book covers all the new features from the very recent 2.1 release of SAP Lumira, Discovery edition. It offers a lot of value for those who are new to the tool, as well as for those who have used SAP Lumira 1.x in the past.

We make sure that beginners are brought up to speed in a very fast way, by offering easy to follow, step-by-step instructions on how to create a “story” and perform tasks in the tool. The datasets that are used in the chapters can be downloaded from the SAP Press book page, so the reader can follow along with the examples throughout the book. We use hundreds of detailed screenshots to further explain the Lumira Discovery concepts and features.

For readers with experience in SAP Lumira 1.x we make sure that the transition to 2.1 is as smooth as can be. The book describes the completely new Lumira Discovery 2.x user interface and its new way of working. We extensively discuss the different offline and live data scenarios and give a complete overview of all the data analysis, data manipulation and visualization options the tool has to offer. In addition, the installation and setup of both the client tool and BI Platform server add-on are described in detail. At the end of the book we discuss several interoperability scenarios to extend Lumira Discovery stories in SAP Lumira, Designer edition.

A reading sample, the full table of contents and the index can be found here. In the below video, co-author Martijn van Foeken and I further discuss the book:

SAP Lumira, Discovery edition – The Comprehensive Guide [SAP Press]
Xavier Hacking, Martijn van Foeken
498 pages, 2018
E-book formats: EPUB, MOBI, PDF, online
ISBN 978-1-4932-1613-0

SAP-Press.com
Amazon

Posted in: Books, SAP Lumira, Video